Iowa Court Rules Dangerous Dog Ordinance is Too Vague

Pinky is a mixed-breed dog was lives in the city of Des Moines, Iowa. One day, Pinky was mistakenly let into the front yard by a family friend. Pinky spotted the neighbor’s cat, and proceeded to grab the cat in her mouth.

The cat was not killed, but it required over 36 staples to close its wounds. The cat’s owner called animal control who took Pinky into custody.

The city of Des Moines has a dangerous animal law. According to this law, any animal that had a propensity to viciousness and had attacked another animal to the point that the other animal or person suffered a laceration, fracture or needed surgery was deemed a dangerous animal.

This designation fit what happened in the incident between Pinky and cat. Pinky was ordered to be euthanized. However, Pinky’s new owner, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, filed suit to block the city’s order.

The case made its way to the Iowa Court of Appeals which has ruled by a 3-2 margin that the dangerous animal ordinance in the city of Des Moines is too vague rendering it unconstitutional. Pinky has won a reprieve.

The court found the law to be vague in a number of different areas. The justices had problems with the term “vicious tendencies”. The majority felt that this was not defined, and they felt that one incident may not be enough to state that an animal had vicious tendencies when the dog had been gentle in the past.

One justice stated that the law was too vague because it might classify a cat as a dangerous animal for practicing natural behavior. The justice gave the example of a cat killing or maiming a wild bird.

The justices in the majority made it clear that in order for a dangerous animal law to be enforceable in the city of Des Moines, the city would have to be more detailed in the law. The court also suggested that one person should not be able to determine if an animal was vicious.

 

 

 

 

Michigan Bar Association Refuses To Reinstate Suspended Referee

In 2014, the Michigan State Bar Association suspended Dennis Mikko’s license to practice law. They said that Mikko failed to maintain high standards of conduct required of lawyers. They also said that Mikko violated Michigan’s Rules of Professional Conduct. They suspended Mikko’s license for one year and also charged him costs of approximately $2,800.

Mikko recently asked the Michigan Bar for another chance. He said that he was ready to practice law again. Bar representatives said that they looked at Mikko’s conduct before, during and after his suspension. They said they weren’t convinced that it’s a good idea to hand him a new bar card.

In his petition for a new bar license, Mikko said that his original suspension wasn’t fair. He said that the original hearing officers looked at images that they shouldn’t have considered. The new hearing panel said that it was so long ago that it didn’t matter much.

It’s safe to say that the conduct leading to Mikko’s suspension is some of the most bizarre conduct in Michigan State Bar history. Mikko was a family court referee for the 13th Circuit Court in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. It was his job to hear cases regarding juvenile delinquency.

Mikko wasn’t an elected judge. Instead, he was hired by the court to hear cases on the judge’s behalf. The purpose of Mikko’s position is to allow a referee to handle some of the more routine, daily work of the court. It was part of Mikko’s job to hear cases involving at-risk youth who appeared in front of the court to respond to petitions regarding juvenile delinquency.

That’s where Mikko’s behavior gets strange. Mikko created a journal. The journal was full of lewd photographs. Mikko took photos of some of the juveniles who appeared in his court and put them on the lewd photographs. He added writings by the photographs.

Mikko kept the diary in his briefcase at work. He also allegedly had sexually explicit communications using his work computer. Mikko faced criminal charges, but a court dismissed them because they said that the photos weren’t criminal. Prosecutors didn’t challenge the dismissal.

Mikko said that he’s remorseful for his actions. However, bar officials said that he was just trying to say the right things. Mikko continued to referee youth soccer during the term of his suspension. Parents whose children played soccer said that they disagreed with the decision to allow Mikko to officiate youth soccer games but felt powerless to stop it.

Ref: http://www.adbmich.org/coveo/boardorders/2018-01-10-17bo-6.pdf

Are Law Schools Ignoring the LSAT?

Some law schools are moving away from the LSAT as the sole entrance exam for law school. LSAT stands for Law School Admissions Test. It used to be that a good score on the LSAT was the only way to get a big fat envelope in the mail that signaled admission to law school. The LSAT tests for logic and reading comprehension.

Today, some law schools are using the GRE as a standardized test for admission. Today, more than a dozen schools accept the GRE as a valid standardized test for law school admission including prestigious schools like Georgetown and Northwestern. More schools say they have plans to do the same thing.

However, other schools are backtracking on accepting the GRE for law school admission. George Washington Law School is one of these schools. George Washington no longer accepts the GRE. They say students must take the LSAT. Some students say they’re disappointed because they prepared for the GRE in hopes of earning a high enough score to impress George Washington admissions officials.

George Washington representatives apologized for the sudden change. They even agreed to compensate applicants for the costs of their GRE tests. They also extended their deadline to give students time to go take the LSAT.

George Washington School of Law admissions representatives say it’s important that they admit only students who are likely to be successful in law school. They say that the GRE doesn’t give enough information about whether a student will be successful in George Washington’s program of study. They say they have to study how students do at George Washington relative to their GRE scores. They say without that information, they may not be in compliance with standards from the American Bar Association that allow them to admit only applicants who have a high chance of success in law school.

Officials say that it’s okay for the school to be cautious in its admissions policies. With a legal education costing more than $100,000 in some cases, they say they shouldn’t play fast and loose with the futures of their students. They also say that preserving the integrity of their admissions process ensures the reputation of the school.

Critics of the GRE as a standardized test for law school admissions say that the GRE doesn’t do enough to test logic. They say that the LSAT does what it’s designed to do which is to determine which candidates are best prepared for law school. However, supporters of the GRE say that a student might have more than one way to demonstrate their potential for success.

Ref: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/plaintiff_asks_for_consent_decree_extension_in_lsat_ada_accommodation_actio

Oregon Judge Refuses to Listen to Witness Statement

When Dana Parks walked into the courtroom to watch her assailant receive his sentence for his crime, she wasn’t expecting the judge to walk out of the courtroom. But that’s what Judge Kenneth Walker decided to do. Parks tried to participate in the sentencing by making a statement to the judge. However, the judge didn’t want to hear it.

Instead of listening patiently, Judge Walker interrupted Parks. Finally, he lost his cool and left the courtroom. Parks didn’t get to finish her statement. She is the victim of domestic assault.

Judge Walker allegedly stopped Parks three times during her statement. The Oregon Crime Victims Law Center says Walker’s actions were inappropriate, and they want a new hearing so that the victim can have her say. They say that the law requires the judge to listen to what the victim has to say.

During a sentencing hearing, both the state’s attorney and the defense have an opportunity to address the court. The state’s attorney doesn’t directly represent the victim, but the victim still has the right to make a speech to the court. Although the sentencing hearing was 27 minutes long, that included the entire hearing. The judge didn’t let the victim read the last paragraph of her speech.

The judge says that his actions were justified. The judge says that the victim wanted to talk about things that hadn’t been charged. He thought that it was unfair that the victim was talking about other incidents and events. At one point, he openly said, “I don’t want to hear this.”

In addition, the judge complained that the victim wanted to bring up social media posts about the crime. He eventually said, “I’ve heard enough.” The prosecutor asked for the victim to be allowed to finish her statement, but the judge said no.

Before the hearing, the parties had already agreed to a sentence of three years in prison. The judge honored that agreement and handed down a sentence of three years. The judge has denied interview requests.

Lawmakers throughout the United States have passed victim rights laws in order to ensure that victims have their say in the legal process. Victims usually aren’t legally trained. They don’t know what they can say, and what they can’t say.

The Parks case raises the question of what victims should be allowed to talk about during a sentencing. A victim often wants the judge to understand the context behind the event itself. However, because judges might view victims as unimportant to a sentencing hearing, victim rights laws exist to ensure victims can participate in the legal process.

Court Says Immigrant Child Has No Right to Legal Counsel in Hearings

On Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that a child of a parent who is living in the United States illegally has no constitutional right to a court-appointed counsel in an immigration hearing.

The ruling upheld the deportation proceedings against a boy from Honduras, who along with his mother had come to America as a 13 year old in 2014, in order to flee gang violence in his homeland. During the deportation hearing in immigration court the boy had no legal counsel.

The three-judge 9th Circuit Court panel said that extending the right for a free-of-charge court-appointed counsel to accompanied immigrant minors would require an act of Congress.

While defendants in criminal cases have long had a constitutionally guaranteed right to an court-appointed lawyer, as a general rule the same does not apply for defendants in deportation proceedings, regardless of their age or other circumstances. But supporters of immigrant rights strongly believe that there should be an exception for young children.

Ahilan Arulanantham, who is not only representing the boy but who is also the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, has said that he will request a review of the court’s ruling. He further said that the decision means that defenseless and vulnerable children would have to go up against highly trained government attorneys in immigration hearings, and that this would lead to the deportation of countless children to dangerous countries.

What the Circuit Court panel didn’t say in their “narrow” ruling is whether an unaccompanied immigrant child would have a right to a court-appointed attorney in an immigration hearing. Judge John Owens, who is on the panel and who ruled against the boy, said that if such a case came before the panel, the panel might rule differently.

The U.S. Department of Justice has yet to comment on the ruling, which has come just as the Trump Administration is attempting to make changes to deportation proceedings, so as to speed them up.

 

 

Biometric Privacy Laws Vary By State

Google’s Arts and Culture app was the latest app flavor of the week. Users upload a selfie, Google scans the biometrics of the image and matches it to a famous work of art. From Maine to California, people used the app and found their likenesses in portraits painted centuries ago by a variety of portrait artists. But people in Illinois and in Texas couldn’t join in on the fun. Google disabled the app in those states because of biometric privacy laws, or at least that is what lawyers suspect. Google has not released an official statement regarding the app blackout. But the app’s absence in some states has caused news syndicates to probe a bit deeper into biometric privacy laws.

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly interviewed Matthew Kluger who teaches law at Northwestern University. According to Kluger, in Illinois and Texas, tech companies are required to disclose how biometric data is used and users must grant the companies permission, but there are no current all-encompassing disclosures and it seems Illinois and Texas require a bit more than a generic “I agree.”

Kelly mentioned that the app does have a disclosure. She quotes, “Google won’t use data from your photo for any other purpose and will only store your photo for the time it takes to search for matches.”

This disclosure seems fairly direct, but Kluger told Kelly that Google is likely acting on “an abundance of caution” due to ongoing litigation in Illinois.

There is another issue as well, who gets the data. In the state of Illinois, there is ongoing litigation to determine what happens to biometric data in the event that the company owning the data goes bankrupt. Can biometric information be legally sold to a third party without the individual’s knowledge?

Another wrinkle in biometric privacy law has to do with user identification. If someone were to snap a photo of another person or use someone else’s photo for the Arts and Culture app without that individual’s knowledge, that would be a violation of privacy. Google and other app developers would have to put fail safes in place to catch those kinds of activities.

In the meantime, Illinois residents can always cross into Indiana, Missouri, Iowa or Kentucky to find out their portrait doppelganger. Unfortunately, people in the great big state of Texas might have a farther drive.

Jersey Shore Star Has A Situation Of His Own

Jersey Shore is a reality television show that appeared on MTV several years ago. One of the hit stars of the show Michael Sorrentino, who went under the stage name The Situation, is now in a heap of trouble. Michael Sorrentino was recently audited by the federal government, and the government discovered Michael did not report approximately two million dollars, which he made between 2011 to 2012.

In order to avoid a trial and face approximately 30 years in prison, Michael Sorrentino entered a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, and he was charged with deceiving the federal government. Michael Sorrentino is possibly going to face 2-5 years in prison, but Michael hopes he can get home confinement.

What made Michael Sorrentino decide to take a plea agreement was the fact that his brother, Marc Sorrentino, is the one handling the taxes. After Michael made approximately nine million dollars from the Jersey Shore show, Marc reported to the federal government that Michael only made five million dollars. Marc and Michael were charged for this, which is a separate case and investigation that is ongoing. After the prosecution team told Michael they were going to bring the ongoing investigation up during the trial, Michael decided to enter into a plea agreement. Michael’s attorney told him this decision is in his best interest and the best interest of his family.

Michael’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for the last week of February. A lot of media attention is expected to be given to this sentencing hearing, and Michael’s entire family is expected to be present at the hearing. Jersey Shore producers have not commented on this situation. However, an attorney for the Jersey Shore television show stated all money paid to Michael Sorrentino is documented and can be shown to authorities at any time.

World Champion Gymnast Says Abuse in Gymnastics Dates Back to the 1980s

Despite the recent firestorm against USA Gymnastics and the organization’s handling of sexual abuse, one world champion says that the problem goes far deeper than the hundreds of complaints that have surfaced in the last two years. Marcia Frederick says the problem goes back to the 1970s when her coach abused her for years. Frederick says that her coach routinely abused her for several years at the height of her competitive career. She said the abuse took place inside and outside of the gym. She said it eventually derailed her competitive career. The abuse began when she was 16 years old.

When Frederick tried to blow the whistle and report the abuse to USA Gymnastics, she says the allegations were dismissed. She says that the abuse was condoned by officials and that she was blamed for her own abuse. She says that adults preyed on her and didn’t stand up for her.

Frederick says her complaints fell on deaf ears. She says that there’s been no action taken against the coach who denies anything ever happened. She says that the failures in her case are just one example of the governing body’s systemic stifling of sexual abuse complaints. Frederick says that there are other coaches from the same era who abused gymnasts without consequence.

For her, the consequences have been severe. She doesn’t speak to her father. She’s haunted by the events of the past. However, she says that USA Gymnastics officials are more concerned with protecting their reputation than they are about making sure more innocent children don’t become victims.

The United States Olympic Committee delegates leadership of gymnastics on a national level to USA Gymnastics. The organization oversees national competitions and selection of athletes for representation at international events. In the wake of mounting criticism, CEO Steve Penny resigned with a severance package of approximately $1 million. Some are calling on the U.S. Olympic Committee to decertify the entire organization and appoint new leadership for governance of the sport in the United States.

In addition to Frederick, world and Olympic champions Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney have all disclosed that they’re victims of abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics officials. World champion Maggie Nichols was the first athlete to make a complaint that led to an investigation and the publicity of what appears to be decades of abuse of minor athletes. The athletes and their families say that USA Gymnastics appears to have grossly failed in their obligations to notify authorities of suspected child abuse.

Claims Against Nationwide And Former Executive David Giertz Dismissed

Claims against Nationwide and one of its former executives David Giertz, has been dismissed.  The parties named in the suit include Nationwide Investment Services Corporation (NISC), Nationwide  Financial Services (NFS), and Nationwide Life Insurance Company (NLIC).

The suit was originally filed by plaintiff Kristen E Nieter. After the former Nationwide wholesaler claimed that she was subjected to unwelcome conduct and retaliation resulting in her termination in June of 2016.Kristin E Nieter, formerly a registered representative in Chicago, began working for Nationwide in Columbus, OH in 1998.  Nieter worked for the company for 12 years.  She would then leave in 2010 and return in 2013.  After her termination in 2016, Nieter claimed that she was terminated without reason.  This is despite admitting she violated company policies.

Former Nationwide VP David Giertz
Former Nationwide VP David Giertz

However, Nationwide Investment Services Corporation denied this claim and listed “failure to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade and engaging in inappropriate practices with third parties who are not affiliated with the firm” as the official reason for her termination on her U-5 form.

Nationwide has vehemently denied all allegations of wrongdoing.  According to the judge’s ruling handed  down in July 2017, the Franklin County, Ohio court agrees.  Judge David C. Young struck down Nieter’s claim against NFS, NLIC and Giertz, finding they had no involvement in the information provided on Nieter’s post-termination U-5 form.

For those not in the securities industry, the U-5 form is a uniform termination notice for the licensed securities industry.  This form must be filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) when terminating a registered representatives license.  Licensed broker-dealer firms are legally required to list a reason for termination on the form.  The reason must be related to why an employee’s license is being revoked.

However, companies that are not licensed broker-dealer firms are not authorized to provide a U-5 form upon termination. As a result, NFS, NLIC, and David Giertz, are not registered broker-dealer firms, are not required to report a reason for termination on the U-5 form, the defamation claim was therefore, dismissed as to them.

For more information about Nationwide visit their website.

Read more about David Giertz on SlideShare.

Accidentally Killing Migratory Birds No Longer a Crime

Reversing a rule initiated in President Obama’s final weeks, the Trump administration posted a legal memo that stated that it will not seek charges against companies that accidentally kill migratory birds.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which is almost a hundred years old, protects birds by requiring businesses to guard against hazards that could harm them. In recent years, BP paid $100 million in fines for violating the act, and Duke Energy was found to be in criminal violation of the act. In one of its last rulings before leaving office, the Obama administration announced that the government could under the law prosecute companies for killing birds even if they do so accidentally. Though the new Trump administration suspended the application of the ruling almost immediately after taking office. Now they say that the law only applies to purposely killing migratory birds.

Under the MBTA, the government could seek 6 months in prison and a 15,000 fine for each bird killed or wounded by the actions of a company, but the Trump administration believes that this places way too much burden on businesses. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in excess of 30 million birds accidentally die every year in collisions with structures such as towers and electrical lines, and many more die in turbines and pits.

Conservation groups took exception to the new ruling. The National Audubon Society, which believes the MBTA is one of the most important conservation laws on the books, thinks that the new interpretation not only violates the intent of the treaty but it also ignores decades of long-standing legal precedent. David O’Neill, who is the chief conservation officer of the society, says that the ruling disincentivizes business from working with them to come up with solutions to the problem.

Another conservation group, the National Wildlife Foundation, lamented how the law went from being too broadly interpreted under the Obama administration to being too narrowly interpreted under the current administration.

Industry groups, though, applauded the ruling. The National Ocean Industries Association believes that the previsous interpretation created lots of uncertainty and that the current one meant the businesses would not have worry about being threatned with prosecuation over what they believe are essentially legal activities.

Always Make Sure You Have Your Marijuana Tax Stamp When Driving Through Nebraska

Christmas has long been associated with extended holiday traveling for many people across the nation. As a matter of fact, sometimes folks attempt driving completely across the nation to get to spend some high quality time with friends and family. And for some, the term “high” is truly the operative word. However, sometimes the best laid plan can still go awry. And this is especially true in Nebraska, which is a state that has just exposed the fact that at least one state still has antique laws.

Sheriff deputies in York County, Nebraska conducted a traffic stop shortly before Christmas that involved an 80 year-old man and his 83 year-old wife who stated they were on their way to visit family in New England. According to their identification, Northern California is their home. The reason for the stop as recorded by the investigating officers is that the operator of the truck was swerving across the lane divider and failed to give a signal when turning. What appeared as a routine traffic stop was about to turn into a full blown drug investigation.

During the traffic stop one of the officers smelled the distinct aroma of raw marijuana, and having a K-9 unit in the police car with them, they decided to let the dog do his magic. What the dog produced was astounding when considering that the suspects who were stopped at first appeared as apparently harmless law-abiding citizens. What the K-9 officer found was 60 lbs of marijuana, along with a significant stash of THC oil extract. According top the elderly couple, the stash was intended as Christmas presents for their friends and family.

Of course, being caught red-handed and admitting to having possession of the contraband, the couple was arrested and received two citations from the officers. The first citation was for possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver for resale. However, the second charge revealed the true state of legislation in Nebraska. The couple was cited for not having a state of Nebraska marijuana tax stamp. Uh, say what?

The issue of marijuana legality has been a confusing and potentially outdated federal statue that has also seen overlapping legislation from the states. While it is federally illegal to even possess any amount of marijuana, several states have also enacted a marijuana stamp tax law. That way, even if you are caught with marijuana and somehow manage to have it returned by the state after excellent aggressive legal counsel can get you acquitted of charges, you still owe the state of Nebraska their claim to taxation for the prospective sale.

There was no information provided with respect to whether or not the couple was carrying a Santa Claus suit as well, but suffice to say someone did not have such a merry Christmas.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/22/572844666/elderly-couple-stopped-in-nebraska-with-60-pounds-of-weed-for-christmas-presents

Attorney Suspended for Padding Bills

Barnes and Thornburg attorney John F. Meyers is suspended from the practice of law for two years. That’s because officials say he falsified his hourly billing in order to collect payments for work he didn’t do. The Georgia Supreme Court handed down the suspension.

An official reviewing the case recommended disbarring the attorney completely. However, the discipline panel decided on the two-year suspension. The disbarment is the result of Meyers’ attempts to fool a corporate client into paying bills that they didn’t owe for services that Meyers performed for someone else.

Meyers practiced in the areas of labor and employment law with Barnes and Thornburg. Barnes and Thornburg is a large law firm with more than 600 attorneys. Authorities say the events leading to the suspension happened in 2011.

Authorities say that Meyers helped another attorney use the corporation’s money to fund a new, private law firm. The pair didn’t have the authority to siphon the company’s money for that purpose, officials say. They say the pair billed a large corporation for work that wasn’t done for the corporation’s benefit. The other attorney involved in the scheme agreed to give up his law license. Meyers denied that he knew he was defrauding the corporate client. He said that he was just following instructions from the other attorney involved in the scheme.

When the fraud came to light, the corporation fired the attorney involved. Meyers resigned as in-house counsel. Meyers repaid the money. The disciplinary panel said that because Meyers quickly repaid the money he took fraudulently, a suspension was more appropriate than complete disbarment.

Meyers leaves the practice of law after 34 years in practice. His professional accomplishments include defending NFL quarterback Jameis Winston. Meyers hasn’t had any other discipline charges in his entire career. Meyers had legal representation during the disciplinary proceedings. The state entered the opinion and its order of suspension on December 11, 2017.

Despite ethics rules preventing dishonesty in billing, honesty in billing is often hard to enforce because of a lack of oversight and accountability for attorneys who own their own practices and bill independently. Many attorneys still bill for services by the hour. Some say the business model discourages efficiency. With attorneys under pressure to be profitable for their firms, they might exaggerate their hours in order to meet billable hour requirements or earn bonuses. Some say there aren’t enough checks and balances for clients to catch dishonesty and outright fraud.

What’s Next After the Net Neutrality Defeat?

The nation is in turmoil over the future of the internet, following the decision made by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to terminate net neutrality. The rules have been in place since 2015, when they were instituted to ensure the internet remained freely available to everyone without interference from service providers eager to push their own products and services.
Changes Won’t Be Immediate, But They Will Come
The greatest fear sweeping the online community has been that changes would be immediate, following the defeat of net neutrality. The assumption was that service providers would charge for access to individual websites, such as social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While that hasn’t been the case, internet service providers have hinted that they may use their new-found power to push their own interests.
All legal content will still be available on the internet, but companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Comcast are likely to prioritize their own content. This means smaller start-up companies, or those with no service provider affiliations, will experience greater difficulty in reaching consumers. The larger service providers assert that the unregulated internet prior to 2015 functioned well and even provided better user experiences.
FCC Commissioner Mike O‘Rielly supported the decision to do away with net neutrality, suggesting new technologies, such as self-driving vehicles, can now be given priority over the flood of “cat videos” seen on social media. He added that making extreme changes to service wouldn’t serve providers well with their customers and would only attract negative attention from lawmakers. By attempting to block or discriminate against certain kinds of content, internet service providers would only be hurting their own interests, O’Reilly said.
“It is simply not worth the reputation cost,” added the FCC commissioner.
The Fight is Far From Over
While the public feels defeated by the repeal of net neutrality, congress isn’t giving up so easily. Democrats in particular are committed to protecting the rights and freedoms granted by net neutrality, whether that means working through the courts or establishing new laws in congress. Already, Senator Edward Markey claims to have the backing of 15 other senators in a move to undo the net neutrality repeal.
Meanwhile, another FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, released a dissenting opinion in which she warned of the new overreaching powers now granted to internet service providers.
“They have the technical ability and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic,” Rosenworcel stated. “And now this agency gives them the legal green light to go ahead.”
A recent poll, conducted by the University of Maryland, found that 80% of participants opposed the repeal of net neutrality rules. The poll was conducted prior to the ruling, between December 6 and December 8.

Harvey Weinstein Sued By British Actress

In what has become an almost daily headline in the news, movie producer Harvey Weinstein finds himself facing another lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct. In New York federal court, British actress Kadian Noble filed a lawsuit against Weinstein accusing him of sex trafficking. In the lawsuit, Noble stated the allegations resulted from a meeting she had with Weinstein while in France in February 2014. According to Noble, in that meeting, which was held in Weinstein’s hotel room, he violated United States federal sex trafficking laws by sexually assaulting her in his hotel room.

According to the lawsuit, Weinstein used his influence in the film industry to force or coerce Noble into sexual activity due to his promising to use influence to help her land a role in one of his upcoming films. However, Weinstein has stated he has never had non-consensual sex with Noble or anyone else, and his spokespeople have also stated he has denied any and all allegations of non-consensual sex. Because of this, it’s important to note that the allegations have not been independently confirmed as of this time.

Considered a civil lawsuit, it seeks unspecified damages for Noble. And for those who wonder about the statute of limitations regarding these charges, federal law allows for a 10-year statute of limitations on sex trafficking charges. Also important to remember is that in this lawsuit, Harvey Weinstein is not the only party named. Noble named the Weinstein Company itself as well as Harvey’s brother Bob, whom Noble alleges was aware of Harvey’s activities in regards to forcing women into having non-consensual sex with him in exchange for movie roles. As of now, neither officials of the Weinstein Company nor Bob Weinstein himself have provided comments on the allegations nor the lawsuit.

As of now, more than 50 women around the world involved in various aspects of the entertainment industry have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, and police in London, Los Angeles, New York, and Beverly Hills are conducting investigations into allegations of sex trafficking, rape, and other related acts that could result in the filing of criminal charges against Weinstein. Due to the allegations, Harvey Weinstein has been fired from the Weinstein Company, resigned from the Directors Guild of America, and was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For additional information on this developing story, visit Reuters.

9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

Allegations now exist from six former clerks for the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals regarding sexual harassment from judge Alex Kozinski.

The six accusers say that while performing duties for the San Francisco based court that sexual comments and behaviors resulting in feelings of discomfort were directed towards them by Judge Kozinski. Four of them women also requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Judge Kozinski has denied the allegations and stated that he would never ‘do anything’ offensive to any employees. The judge expressed regret for any remarks made that may have offended anyone.

One accuser who did go on record in accusing Kozinski is Heidi Bond. Bond clerked for Kozinski for approximately a year beginning in 2006 and now authors romance novels under a pen name. The allegations made by Bond are that on three separate occasions she was summoned by Kozinski to his office and was shown pornography by the judge. Bond says the judge would then ask her questions such as did she think the videos were ‘digitally manipulated’ and if she was aroused by videos.

Emily Murphy clerked for another judge with the 9th circuit court and met Judge Kozinski in 2012. Murphy alleges that Kozinski overheard her making remarks about the gym in the courthouse being rarely used. In response to Murphy’s remarks, Kozinski suggested that she work on in the gym naked. Murphy says that she and two others taking part in the conversation attempted to redirect the conversation but Kozinski would not be deterred.

Another former clerk of Kozinski who wished to remain anonymous said that the judge had also shown her pornography and that he had also shown her a chart detailing the totality of the judge’s sexual conquests.

A former extern told media sources that while sitting at a table with Kozinski that the judge lifted a tablecloth to look at her legs.

Judge Kozinski received backlash in the past for what many believed to be a cavalier attitude toward issues pertaining to sexuality and humor. It was determined in 2008 that the judge had posted sexual materials to his personal website.

More about the allegations against Judge Alex Kozinski can be seen at the abajournal.